Musculoskeletal disorders are debilitating conditions that are often associated with genetic makeup, malnutrition, and stress-related events. Most Mastiff breeds such as the North American Mastiff are predisposed to a variety of different skeletal disorders, including but not limited to: canine hip dysplasia, and osteoarthritis. These conditions can be a result of poor nutrition or induced by intense exercise and obesity. It is critical you keep your dog lean and not overweight for the 1st year of their life in order to prevent strain on their bones and ligaments while the NAM,s are growing. The second to third year of their lifespan they will naturally fill out and mature.
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is an orthopedic condition resulting from abnormal development of the hip joint and surrounding tissue causing the instability and partial dislocation of the hip joint, resulting in pain, inflammation, lameness, and potentially osteoarthritis of the joint. The North American Mastiff are genetically predisposed to CHD due to is large mastiff type structure and proper nutrition is key to the longevity of your dog lifespan. Obese dogs are unhealthy dogs and can lead to a numerous amount of problems so you must keep them lean for the first year of its life while the bones are reaching their maturity.
Osteoarthritis is one of the main contributors of musculoskeletal pain and disabilities that commonly affect North American Mastiff. Mechanical stress, oxidative damage and inflammatory mediators combine to induce the gradual degeneration of the articular cartilage in the joint, resulting in reduced muscle mass, pain, and locomotion.
It is essential to feed a well-balanced diet designed for large breeds like the NAM, to ensure adequate growth rates and proper maintenance of musculoskeletal health. Dietary energy levels should be monitored and controlled throughout all life stages and activity levels of the NAM to assist in the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal disorder symptoms. Several dietary factors play a crucial role in maintaining skeletal health and are described as follows.
Appropriate calcium levels are vital in developing a strong skeletal system and aid in preventing orthopedic diseases like Canine Hip Dysplasia. Furthermore, the ratio of calcium and phosphorus must be balanced and at a recommended ratio of 1.2:1 to ensure proper bone development and structure. Imbalances in calcium and phosphorus levels can result in various skeletal complications. Excess phosphorus can produce lesions in bones whereas excessive calcium can lead to hypocalcemia and result in excess bone deposition, interfering with normal bone development. In extreme circumstances of insufficient calcium intake, bone resorption can occur due to the body withdrawing calcium deposits from the skeletal frame as a last resort to fulfill dietary needs.
Glucosamine is an amino monosaccharide that naturally occurs in all tissues, particularly in articular cartilage of joints and from the biosynthesis glucose. Natural synthesis of glucosamine occurs in the extracellular matrix of articular cartilage in joints. However, as a result of damage to the joint or cartilage, there is decreased ability to synthesize glucosamine resulting in the deterioration of the joint, and supplementation is required.
Vitamins such as A and D also have crucial roles in bone development and maintenance by regulating bone and calcium metabolism. Adequate levels should be incorporated into a NAM diet to promote a healthy musculoskeletal system.